1,100 miles, 5 capitals, 12 days, 1 great cause

13th - 24th May 2014

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The Event

What is the Great Big Cycle?

In May 2014, using only pedal power, 10 amateur cyclists (joined by friends along the way) will complete a circuit of the British Isles via the five capitals, only resorting to boats for the two crossings of the Irish Sea. With a daily average of about 100 miles, this will be a gruelling event. It will take months of training to achieve the levels of fitness needed, much of that through the winter months. The sore legs, hard saddles, bad weather, injuries and nutrition issues will put up a hard fight. However the team is ready to go through this all for the great cause: To raise £100,000 for the Cystinosis Foundation UK.

Why?

The reason we're doing all this.

3 year old Morven Hutchison, the daughter of the lead rider, Neil, is the main reason for these cyclists taking-on this mad challenge. Morven is a brave and angelic little girl whose sunny disposition hides the nature of a grave illness, a rare genetic condition called cystinosis which causes impaired growth and kidney problems. At the moment, there is no cure. The symptoms can be treated but only with unpleasant drugs that cause severe side effects and must be administered every few hours, including through the night. Morven keeps relatively well but many are not so lucky with frequent vomiting, excess urination, and the need for stomach tubes. Kidney failure whilst still young is almost inevitable and without improvements in available treatments, the long term prognosis for sufferers of this condition is not good.

However, recent research, partly funded by the charity Cystinosis Foundation UK, which this event is supporting, has discovered new physiological pathways and a deeper understanding of the condition. This in turn could lead to the development of new drug treatments and a better outlook for Morven and her family, as well as other children with this condition worldwide. That’s where the challenge comes in. Further funding is needed desperately to continue the research and progress drug trials which are tangibly-close to a breakthrough.